Rhetorical Analysis of Remarks by the First Lady at the Democratic National Convention
The DNC convention speech of the First Lady Michelle Obama has been touted as the best speech she has ever made and also the best speech that was ever made at the convention. Mrs. Obama delivered an impassioned speech regarding the presidency and the progress the country has made so far mentioning how the country began. She also made an impassioned case for Hillary as being the best option for America’s future. At the end of her speech, Mrs. Obama received a rousing applause as her message resonated with the DNC attendees and she succeeded in conveying her message to them. The paper analyzes the techniques of message delivery that Michelle Obama utilized and how they helped in conveying the message.
Mrs. Obama utilized a variety of techniques in this speech. They range from using humor and employing allusions in certain parts of her speech. In addition, she used metaphors and vivid language, which evoked strong imagery in her audience’s minds. Contrast, repetition, and amplification were also utilized and were effective in ensuring that her message was effectively delivered.
The First Lady’s use of humor in her speech was instrumental in delivering her message. In different parts of her speech, Mrs. Obama used humorous anecdotes that roused the audience to laughter. According to the White House (2016), she spoke of her thoughts about her children’s first day at school after moving to the President’s residence, for instance. By using it, she connected with them on a deeper level and captured their attention. It facilitated the delivery of themessage and ensured that the listeners understood what the First Lady was trying to communicate.
The use of allusions that were relevant to people was also an instrumental technique employed in the speech. The touchstones and allusions appealed to the audience and gave the speech of Michelle Obama more weight. For instance, when she spoke of her daughters and watching them growing during their stay at the White House, she appealed to the parents who understood how it felt (The White House, 2016). As a result, it lent her speech more credibility. Moreover, using phrases that appealed to people’s emotions was an effective technique. When Mrs. Obama referred to America as being the greatest, she reminded people of the inherent pride (The White House, 2016). It inspired pride in the country and connected deeply with the crowd.
Furthermore, the speech of Michelle Obama at the convention was full of references to children and the importance of leaving the country safe for them to grow up (The White House, 2016). It was the aspect to which most of her audience could relate because people there were likely to be parents themselves or planned to start their own families. This factor also put more weight to the First Lady’s speech and helped her to attract the attention of the audience.
Metaphors and vivid language were also employed in this speech. For instance, speaking of hard glass ceilings, Michelle Obama evoked powerful images, which served as an inspiring metaphor for the audience (The White House, 2016). She spoke strongly and painted vivid pictures, thus drawing people’s attention. The First Lady’s language was a key technique. She spoke vividly and evocatively, and it roused reactions and emotions from the crowd. By speaking of the greatness of the country and the equality of all people as well as the strides that the country had made, Mrs. Obama drew applause repeatedly from the audience that was inspired and touched by her speech (The White House, 2016).
In addition, Mrs. Obama’s use of contrast as a tool for sharpening her ideas was also a vital tool in the message delivery. Contrast makes ideas or concepts clearer by highlighting their differences. For instance, contrasting a problem from its solution or comparing the ideal from reality. She utilized this technique when describing Hillary Clinton and comparing her to her opponent (The White House, 2016). Thus, Mrs. Obama sought to emphasize that Mrs. Clinton would be a better President compared to her opponents. The use of contrast served to clearly demonstrate it.
In her speech, the First Lady also utilized the repetition and emphasis technique to reinforce the most important points and those issues that she thought people should keep in mind as they went to the voting season. For instance, Mrs. Obama kept urging people to be active and vote (The White House, 2016). By repeating this idea, her message was likely to be remembered by her audience because she placed a heavy emphasis on these points. In addition, Mrs. Obama’s using repetitions improved the rhythm of her presentation and ensured coherence and consistency of her speech.
Furthermore, Michelle Obama made a compelling and clear call to action in her speech. Her speech was aimed at inspiring people to act and effecting change. The action and change she sought was getting people to vote for Hillary Clinton. The First Lady articulated definitively what people needed to do and the negative consequences of them not doing so. For instance, she spoke of the fact that if people did not elect Hillary, they would be allowing a leader who was not guided by love and hope to become the President (The White House, 2016). Obama’s speech also addressed the urgency for action, which made her speech compelling and inspiring for her audience.
The First Lady’s speech was concluded on an inspiring note, which was a vital delivery tool in her speech. Michelle Obama stated that the country was great as all the people of the country (The White House, 2016). She spoke about electing a leader who would ensure the prosperity of the country. Obama’s speech managed to inspire people and convince that was possible.
The location where the speech was given had a powerful impact due to its historical significance. The First Lady had made her speech at the convention when Obama was running for President (The White House, 2016). She referred to it in her speech, thus inspiring her audience and managing to enhance her message and make it unique as well as memorable.
The speech also utilized real examples of events and happenings in society to establish credibility. For instance, she spoke of the police and protestors from Dallas and the people making blood donations in Orlando (The White House, 2016). The audience could relate to such examples, which gave her speech more weight and helped to pass the message succinctly.
Furthermore, amplifications also featured greatly in her speech. Mrs. Obama used them when she stated a point and restated it and continued to explain it further with more emphasis. For instance, when talking about Hillary Clinton, the First Lady stated that she believed Hillary could benefit people’s lives (The White House, 2016). Michelle Obama used amplifications when she went on to describe the reasons why she believed that Hillary could benefit people’s lives. Thus, Mrs. Obama managed to emphasize her point on Hillary’s suitability for the position.
To conclude, the techniques utilized in the speech effectively communicated the message and earned the First Lady accolade and respect from both the Democrats and their opponents. With the help of her allusions and vivid language as well as various metaphors, Michelle Obama effortlessly passed her message. It inspired people to vote and made her message memorable to her audience, which was the main purpose of her speech. Undoubtedly, people will refer to her speech for inspiration.